If you or someone you know has a DWI in Texas, it’s important to understand what’s going to happen. Staying informed and knowing what possible outcomes can prepare you before stepping inside a courtroom. It’s best to educate yourself and know any form of outcome with the severity of your DWI.
If you are facing criminal penalties for the first time, then you need to know what follows.
Let’s say you have fines that are not in excess of $2,000, then you apply to regular DUI/DWI cases in Texas. But if a minor is present, fine maximums increase to not more than $10,000.
The State of Texas also employs surcharge program for DUI/DWI offenders. A surcharge is an administrative fee charged to a driver based on the convictions reported to the driving record. Surcharges are in addition to all other reinstatement fees required for other administrative actions and do not replace any administrative suspension, revocation, disqualification or cancellation action that results from these same convictions. Texas’ surcharge program requires payment of $1,000 annually for three years for offenders as part of DWI surcharge program. If the BAC is higher than .16, then the surcharge increases to $2,000 annually for a period of three years. Your convictions remain on record and influence future DWI criminal cases for a period of ten years.
If you are guilty of a second DWI in a criminal court, they will suspend your driver’s license for an additional period ranging from 180 days to two years. The Texas Code does not outline a specific fine for the conviction. However, the presiding judge in each case can order the guilty party to pay any amount up to $4,000.
A judge must order community service for at least 80 hours. They may require the guilty party to serve as many as 200 hours. In these cases, they also require Incarceration. The guilty party faces a sentence of 72 hours to a year in jail.
Texas courts use a second DWI conviction as an indicator that a person may have a substance abuse problem. This commonly prompts judges to order an evaluation or rehabilitative treatment.
If a minor, or someone of the age of 15 or under is present in the vehicle during your arrest, it is an immediate felony charge
Also, if you are a commercial driver and face a DWI while driving a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, is a felony. You can also face a license suspension, especially if the tractor-trailer has hazardous materials
Let’s say if injuries or an accident occurs, you may also face felony DUI charges, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident
If you are convicted of any of these felony DWI charges, you will face serious jail time and the conviction will remain on your Texas driving record for life. There are also other penalties related to DWI in Texas, including a driver responsibility tax, which is a surcharge that you must pay for several years following your DWI conviction, on top of any fines or other financial sanctions imposed. This DWI tax ranges from $1000 to $2000 per year for a three-year period.
There are also fines that are applied to the Felony DWI case at the judge’s decision. These fines start at $1,000 and can range as high as $10,000 for third and subsequent conviction, or in extreme circumstances, such as having a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit.
Who to Call When Facing a DWI in Texas
Sometimes, things just happen. Whether it is your first offense or not, you need someone to fight for you. If you’re facing DUI charges in the Fort Bend County area, you need immediate help from David Hunter. Call now at (281) 417-3117 or schedule online for a free consultation. Don’t go through this alone. Get the help you need today!